Abby Dalton's Lamb Stew with Parsley Dumplings
1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean boneless lamb from leg or breast, cut into cubes
lamb bones, reserved from leg or breast
1 cup celery, chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs parsley, chopped
10 to 12 bruised peppercorns
salt and pepper to taste
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can chicken broth, optional
3 or 4 carrots, scraped, cut into large pieces
3 large stalks celery
2 large onions, peeled and cut in large pieces
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup parsley, minced
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup cold buttermilk
chopped parsley, optional
Trim all fat from lamb; dredge in seasoned flour. Brown in hot vegetable oil in skillet on all sides. Set aside browned lamb.
Meanwhile, simmer bones with chopped celery, onion, bay leaf, parsley, peppercorns, salt and pepper to taste and water to cover. Cover and simmer (do not boil) 3 to 4 hours, until stock is well flavored.
Strain stock; discard vegetables and bones. Add strained stock, a little at a time, to hot lamb. Loosen cooked flour mixture, stirring with wooden spoon. Add enough chicken stock if necessary, to make a very light gravy. Add remaining ingredients except peas and dumpling mixture. Cover and simmer (do not boil) until vegetables are almost tender. Add peas and dumpling mixture. Cook until dumplings are done, about 12 minutes. Serve piping hot!
Sift together dry ingredients. With knife, cut in butter until mixture resembles corn meal. Work in chopped parsley. Beat egg yolks with buttermilk in separate bowl; add quickly to flour mixture with fork. Do not beat mixture. Drop dough by small teaspoonsful into simmering stew. Cover tightly, cook 12 minutes without peeking! Serve hot. Dust with additional parsley if desired.